We have two mastiffs. Zeus we have had for three years, Zena we have had for 10 months. Zena is of a different sort then zeus. Zena has all of a sudden gotten an attitude with our two year old little boy. When she was a young puppy she would growl and snap at the kids if they bothered her while she was sleeping. That has since been nipped in the bud, however in the past week she has growled and barked at our two year old. She has not shown that type of behavior toward the kids or any of the family members for about 6 months. My husband wants to get rid of her, and I would like to get some advise on what to do. I am in love with my Zena girl and have been devastated ever since she growled at my son. She hasn't ever bitten anyone however we feel she can not be trusted, please help I am in misery thinking of what might happen to her.
the female is zena and she will be one on feb.23rd-yes we have had her since puppyhood ,our male is 3-1/2 and we got him when he was 6 months old. when we first got him he was very shy and skidish, he is an awsome dog now. Zena is the one with the issues.
OK, I'm guessing that the male is more submissive, more respectful, which is good. The female I'm guessing is more of the pushy one. Dogs go through a few stages in the first few years, the bigger dogs go through challengeing stages at 6 months, one year and 2 years and sometime 3 yrs. I am guessing this is something she is going through. Take caution, keep the dog away from the child. A 2 year old child is no match from a large breed. Also use no harsh techniques of anykind. Instead,Get her into some training (positive only) That means NO, corrections!!No hitting etc.Use training,or confinement(Pen). BUt I must insist that no punishments be used with this dog, and especially around the kids. If you think its safe, try this little exercise, when ever your in the room with the dog, and the kids come into the room,(or the other way around) throw a treat at the dog. If this is done on a regular basis, the dog will start to see a positive association between treats and the kids walking into the room. If the dog was in a pen, then there would be less risk to the child. Only good things should happen when the kids are around. But the interaction between the two should be supervised. Keep in mind, if the dog does growl or snap at a child, lure them away/redirect them.Although it is inappropriate, corrections may escalate the stress of the situation, and next time could be more serious. Contact a certified behavioral specialist to give you some tips and help. If the kids are old enough, get them to start getting involved in the traing and care of the dog.